Nebraska StoryArts

Our dedicated group of Nebraska StoryArts volunteer board members, contracted tellers and workers fulfills our mission by organizing and implementing an array of storytelling events with a limited budget.

Our signature events include: the Moonshell Storytelling Festival; a summer workshop for adults and camp for boys & girls ages 9 to 18; Spooky Stories.
We conduct events and outreach programs for schools, libraries and community agencies.

Our mission is to preserve, perpetuate, and celebrate storytelling of all cultures and to nurture, sustain, and develop the storytelling community of tellers and listeners.​
We're a lively bunch. If you'd like to help us out, become a member or volunteer or sponsor an event! Be part of the story.
Nebraska StoryArts
Our mission is to preserve, perpetuate, and celebrate storytelling of all cultures and to nurture, sustain, and develop the storytelling community of tellers and listeners.
CALL TODAY! 402-551-4532
The Need for a Story

There is a need for story in all of us; we recognize story as the essence of memory and comprehension - the most effective way to think about anything. We also experience the joy of making community by celebrating it with story; I recognize myself in you through your story - as I delight in our differences.
A Lakota Elder said that we tell stories to help us to become human beings. When asked "Aren't we human beings already?" his reply was, "Not all of us make it." Be a part of the story - join us at a Nebraska StoryArts event.

Getting Started


Four storytelling librarians, Sheila Schumacher, Mary Heise, Jayne Palmer and Judy Vitters, formed in 1986, OOPS (the Omaha Organization for the Purpose of Storytelling), incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit. OOPS meets the third Thursday of every month at the Harry Abrahams Library in Omaha. In June of 1987, OOPS produced the first Nebraska Storytelling Festival at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha. The event was attended by approximately 50 people, who each paid $25 for workshops, tellings and supper featuring Nebraska tellers. From the very first year, the organization had the support of the Nebraska Library Commission, which granted recertification credits for librarians attending - a key element in the Festival's maturity.

In 1990, the Festival moved to donated space at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 1991, Nancy Duncan taught a storytelling course at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and in 1994 taught the same course at College of Saint Mary, leading into the Festival. In the fourth year, the Festival added a Friday night to the full day of Saturday, which enabled a broader audience to attend. This was another key step in creating growth and allowing expansion.
In 1995, the Festival incorporated as a separate non-profit organization, providing year-round supervision, a corporate board of directors, and continuity of production. The new organization was named the Storytelling Festival of Nebraska. Its main production, scheduled for the last weekend in June in Omaha, is the Nebraska Storytelling Festival. The organization also assists as artistic consultant to the Kearney Committee's (incorporated under the Kearney Area Foundation) production of the Kearney Storytelling Festival, held annually in January. In 2001, the name was changed to Nebraska StoryArts to reflect year-round programming.

Other productions include a weekly radio show, an intensive training and coaching workshop, various selected activities in Lincoln, a series of storytelling events at UNO, a Storytelling Camp for grades 4 - 9 leading into the June Festival, and partnering with Joslyn Art Museum to produce an annual Liar's Contest as part of Arts on the Green. In the spring of 2001, the organization introduced outreach programming in an activity named StoryConnect, placing storytellers who represent the region's minority communities in schools and community centers.
Two kinds of academic and library recertification credit are offered at the June Festival. The link has allowed us to share facilities with a growing college, an academic institution right in the center of Omaha, to have free access to parking and access to dorms at a reasonable rate. In 2001, the Festival was granted recertification credit by the Nebraska Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for those counselors and therapists attending the Festival.
In 1994, the Festival moved to the College of Saint Mary, where it continues to rent space. In 2001, the Nebraska Storytelling Festival expanded to its current format: Thursday night a kickoff reception and supper - showcasing the Festival tellers, continuing Friday morning, including six rounds of workshops (four on Friday and two on Saturday morning) as well as eight public telling events. The Festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with a Stories for the Sprit theme.
Contact Info
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Nebraska StoryArts
18129 Trail Ridge Rd
Omaha, NE 68135

​If you have questions or would like to talk to a representative of Nebraska StoryArts you may contact us at 402-551-4532 or Donnis at 402-312-4749.

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